News Brief

Facebook Fights Application Spam

Responding to widespread complaints, Facebook is now allowing users to directly block unwanted application invites.

The measure is intended to ban applications on Facebook that force members to invite friends as a condition of use. "This generates a bad experience for both application users and their friends who receive unwanted invitations," wrote Paul Jeffries, manager of platform operations and developer support at Facebook, in a blog post Wednesday on the site.

When presented with an application invite, users can now choose a "Block Application" option within the request to stop getting spammed. Facebook has also warned developers not to create apps that trap users in endless "Invite Your Friends" loops. Applications must now also give advanced notice if they require inviting friends to get information or access content.

In his post, Jeffries acknowledged the e-mails, Facebook groups and even "a scheduled protest event devoted to the issue."

--Mark Walsh

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